Very…unsettling developments. Dad's notes kept referring to “Unit 14” in reference to collected materials and documentation. He'd go on about something, more often than not what he came to dub the “physical anchors” of these reality anomalies… and then just break off, stating a reference number, and Unit 14. I looked everywhere, through everything, tore the house apart, and didn't find anything that made any sense. I'd nearly given up, just writing it off as part of the stuff he'd taken with him… and then I went though mom's bills. She'd apparently missed a payment on something since going to the hospital. A storage unit. Unit number 14.
To my credit, I didn't speed the entire time. I spoke to the gentleman at the counter, telling him about my mom, and how she'd missed the payment due to sickness and such… he hemmed and hawed about letting me in, but once I'd made the payment with an extra twenty bucks, he gave me the spare key. My hands were shaking, physically shaking when I opened the unit… I had no idea what to expect, really. I almost screamed when I saw just a blank wall of boxes. Just another dead end…
I decided to look, and that's when I found the papers. Mounds of them, mostly from newspapers, many from other countries, printed articles, scientific notes… it looked random at first. But there was a pattern. In notes and scribbles, dad walked me through it… four men vanishing from a farm in Idaho. An explosion in a preschool. A string of rapes and murders in Japan. The stories didn't make sense. They started shocked, confused… one person even reporting seeing a “dinosaur” fleeing a ruined home… and then suddenly a clean, sanitized explanation, and the story is smothered. It seemed crazy… but with dad's notes, and the research… it started to make a sick kind of sense.
A pile of notes stuffed in a box gave me the next piece. Dad theorized that these “anchor points” would sometimes jut in to our reality… often with unpleasant effects. Kanin apparently felt the same, but he was less worried about the math behind it, so to speak, but in the practical applications such points could have. They argued back and forth for a while, Dad calling Kanin reckless at best and suicidal at worst, Kanin telling dad he was being an old maid, too scared to take a leap. Kanin apparently said he was going to publish a paper on the whole concept… and then it just ends.
Nothing dated after that letter. Nothing relating to the paper or what happened… nothing. It was like looking over a cliff. I think… this is when he left. When dad vanished. It was dark by the time I left, carrying a few boxes, feeling numb and shivering. The guy was locking up, seemed rather glad to have me out so he could go home. I went home, ate a sandwich and lay down.
I was watching the news this morning, and there was a blurb about a fire. The storage place… the place burned down. They didn't know if it was arson or not. It burned down less than an hour after I left… maybe less then half an hour. The guy from the office was found burned to death. It's… getting harder and harder not to be paranoid. I… don't carry my phone anymore. It's in my car, with the battery pulled out. I feel so alone, so isolated, so cold. I can't even see mom, they say her state is too delicate right now. I'm scared.
I'm scared, but God help me, I can't just stop.
I haven't been out all day. My shades are drawn, lights out… I'm writing this in the basement, with the door locked. I woke up this morning, went down and collected the mail. Bills, a newsletter from the university… and one of those big, tan envelopes that tie shut. It was weird… no return address, no anything, just blank. I almost didn't open it, I kept thinking about that stupid fire. I did, finally. It was a photo. Just one, single photo. Black and white, but newer, not faded like those old photos can get. I'm… not… really sure what it's of. There's some massive… thing in the middle, looking half rotten, and a bunch of men around it, most with guns, but there's three men in lab coats, seeming to be looking over the thing in the middle, or doing something with it.
The one on the right is my father.
Older and thinner, but him, I know it. I'd swear to it.
There was no date or anything on the photo, but written on the back there was a hand-written note. It said “Montauk Monster. He was not alone.” I was shaking so bad I could barely read it. I locked all my doors and just sat, staring at the photo. When my phone rang, I screamed. Tore it out of the wall. I looked up the name on the back, the Montauk Monster thing, and found a bunch of photos of some weird, rotten thing that turned out to be a young beluga whale. My photo looked a little similar… but ten times bigger, at least, and with a more… definite shape. I suddenly thought of the news articles dad had collected, and wondered when this photo on the net had appeared. It looked just enough like my photo to be able to say that someone was just “overexcited” when reporting the dimensions of the creature.
I started getting more and more afraid, more paranoid. Who the hell had sent this? I hadn't talked to ANYONE in weeks, let alone shown anyone my work. On a hunch, I did some probing around the time dad vanished, seeing if anything turned up. If I hadn't been looking for it, I'd never have seen it. Thirty-two scientists and researchers vanished within three weeks, my dad included. Thirty-two. And nobody looked up on it. There were some vague mentions of police searches, appeals to the public to report sightings… and then nothing. Forgotten and pushed away.
It suddenly hit me, like a bolt, that for someone to know all the things I knew, they would have to be watching me. And closely, like from inside my home. I suddenly looked around, at the ceiling, the walls, everywhere, growing horrified that someone… someone could be watching me. I tried to feel stupid about it, silly… then I remembered my clicking phone… the fire, and the photo in my hand. That's when I moved to the basement.
I'm getting a new laptop tomorrow, when I'm on the road. Cryptography has always been an interest of mine… time to put it to the test. I've never really encrypted a laptop very hard before, and I know I don't have much hope against… well… whatever I'm up against, the government maybe? Still, I have to try. I have a friend who does audio and video analysis and such out in California, plus being on the move might make me feel a little less… vulnerable. I keep thinking of that fire at the storage place… how long would my home stay in the news? Would it even make it?
I need to sleep. I feel numb and wrung out, empty. God, I hope nobody finds this next to my charred skeleton.
Time to panic?
Work Journal 3
or turn back to sanity…
Work Journal 2